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Will you close over winter?

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JBloggs

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Unless of course, you are near a ski area. Will you close over winter? Or Jan/Feb? Is this when you do your innside reno's and updates? Or when you go away and travel? Is it worth it to you to stay open and heat guest areas for one room?
How do you handle this, just block off the calendar? What has been your experience with this? Closing midweek and only open weekends?
 

Samster

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We closed from around December 20th thru January 15th. Just blocked out the calendar. It was dead here anyway. Took that time for the holidays with family, maintenance, and so forth. We took calls, answered emails, etc.
 

Morticia

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The whole month of Jan. We do projects during this month, goof off, sleep late, go out for dinner. Act like normal people.
I do know when we first started another place was only open on weekends and that worked for them (they sent us a bunch of mid-weekers at that point).
We block the calendar. Hang out the sign. Turn away walk-ins.
 

Morticia

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I will add this...the first year we did this we were a little panicky about it. We had a few repeats who always came in Jan. I think one of them moved to a different B&B and the others changed their dates to Feb.
Still, I will say that a few callers were peeved and we did get a bit of sarcasm, 'Must be nice to get a whole month off,' which we countered with, 'Yes it is.' So, we stopped saying we were closed for the month. (Never say the word 'closed' it's all the guest hears. They don't hear 'for the month'.) We just say we have no availability. Then we refer the guest elsewhere.
 

BBBBoB

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I will add this...the first year we did this we were a little panicky about it. We had a few repeats who always came in Jan. I think one of them moved to a different B&B and the others changed their dates to Feb.
Still, I will say that a few callers were peeved and we did get a bit of sarcasm, 'Must be nice to get a whole month off,' which we countered with, 'Yes it is.' So, we stopped saying we were closed for the month. (Never say the word 'closed' it's all the guest hears. They don't hear 'for the month'.) We just say we have no availability. Then we refer the guest elsewhere..
Morticia said:
(Never say the word 'closed' it's all the guest hears. They don't hear 'for the month'.)
It always stuns me that "what I say & what you hear" is such a problem on the most simple things. As a salesman, I try to be explicitly in every conversation, and still I run into issues.
We are open all year long, but it is a bit slow in the winter.
BBBBob
 

gillumhouse

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I am open unless I am at a Conference or traveling. DH is usually here but he cannot do B & B. When I go to Germany next Spring we will be booked the whole time I am gone unless it is someone DH knows and wants to take with the caveat there is NO breakfast. We have a tendency to get horse people in Jan/Feb. going from Canada to SC or FL. USUALLY we get little snow. Last winter we got dumped on - and on - and on - and on......
 

birdwatcher

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I hear that K--the most snow I've ever seen in my life! This year we will probably see no snow since we are in the Delta Region, maybe gets to 30 here..so looking forward to this.
I don't know what they do at this Inn, but I believe that they stay open we shall see how much business we get.
 

Joey Camb

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we are shutting for a week in Feb as this is a quiet time for us but we are mostly busy all year round (UK so no snow to speak of) want to get more reno done and maybe a bathroom replaced. It is all about carpets LOL plus I think we deserve a break though we are saving up to go to Egypt. It is just nice to have a lie in. and catch up with stuff.
 

Emily Spiers

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we are shutting for a week in Feb as this is a quiet time for us but we are mostly busy all year round (UK so no snow to speak of) want to get more reno done and maybe a bathroom replaced. It is all about carpets LOL plus I think we deserve a break though we are saving up to go to Egypt. It is just nice to have a lie in. and catch up with stuff..
camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk said:
It is just nice to have a lie in.
I LOVE your phrases... :)
 
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we are shutting for a week in Feb as this is a quiet time for us but we are mostly busy all year round (UK so no snow to speak of) want to get more reno done and maybe a bathroom replaced. It is all about carpets LOL plus I think we deserve a break though we are saving up to go to Egypt. It is just nice to have a lie in. and catch up with stuff..
Open 24/12 but I am 2 cottages and only 2 hours from DC, Richmond and Roanoke. Had guest here in the snow last year , biggest mess was in my driveway. I get a snow blower in about 3 weeks, so probably wont snow for years here now ! Mary in Bwater.
 

JBloggs

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Our first few years we had business guests in the "off season" but now they are fewer and fewer, teleconferencing instead. Every year It hink about this, then say "whatever just leave it open and if we get many we can deal with it then"
 

Highlands John

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We're open all year except 24th-26th December. It always surprises me the number of people who call to book B&B on 24th December. Firstly I'm not getting up Christmas morning to cook breakfast for people and secondly what are they going to do all day, I don't want them hanging around the house whilst my family is celebrating Christmas.
We'll have people in almost every night until end November, maybe 1 or two bookings mid December and then we're pretty much full from Boxing day through to the 1st week of January. January / Fabruary is our rest and refurb time, we don't close but the gaps between bookings are usually sufficienlty large to get whatever work is required done. March is usually pretty quiet too.
Except next year we're off to New Zealand for 6 weeks in Feb/Mar so will close down.
 

Morticia

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we are shutting for a week in Feb as this is a quiet time for us but we are mostly busy all year round (UK so no snow to speak of) want to get more reno done and maybe a bathroom replaced. It is all about carpets LOL plus I think we deserve a break though we are saving up to go to Egypt. It is just nice to have a lie in. and catch up with stuff..
I had a lie in this morning! Yippee. First one since June. Egypt sounds wonderful- the pyramids are on my list.
 

Morticia

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Our first few years we had business guests in the "off season" but now they are fewer and fewer, teleconferencing instead. Every year It hink about this, then say "whatever just leave it open and if we get many we can deal with it then".
Joey Bloggs said:
Our first few years we had business guests in the "off season" but now they are fewer and fewer, teleconferencing instead. Every year It hink about this, then say "whatever just leave it open and if we get many we can deal with it then"
So here's my deal with 'deal with it then'...you are always on edge- will someone call, won't they call, damn they called. With the calendar blocked you relax. If they call you can turn them down because in your head you are closed. If they don't call, you weren't expecting them anyway. When we hit December and I'm looking at my avail calendar (which shows 'blocked' days in red) and I see that red bunch of days getting closer, I relax, I get excited about 'my vacation' (which is spent fixing stuff, but goofing off, too). Of course, when Jan hits and I see the 'open' days getting closer it's a different story altogether!
We did stay open one extra day last year for a biz guest, but I added it on to the end of the vacation and he was the first guest back in Feb.
 

Country Girl

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We close from mid-Dec. to Dec. 31 and then we are open until March. If we get a lot of snow we're pretty busy on the weekends but slow during the week, even if we run ski and stay packages. March is dead so that's when we do our renovations and try to take a vacation.
 

JBloggs

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Our first few years we had business guests in the "off season" but now they are fewer and fewer, teleconferencing instead. Every year It hink about this, then say "whatever just leave it open and if we get many we can deal with it then".
Joey Bloggs said:
Our first few years we had business guests in the "off season" but now they are fewer and fewer, teleconferencing instead. Every year It hink about this, then say "whatever just leave it open and if we get many we can deal with it then"
So here's my deal with 'deal with it then'...you are always on edge- will someone call, won't they call, damn they called. With the calendar blocked you relax. If they call you can turn them down because in your head you are closed. If they don't call, you weren't expecting them anyway. When we hit December and I'm looking at my avail calendar (which shows 'blocked' days in red) and I see that red bunch of days getting closer, I relax, I get excited about 'my vacation' (which is spent fixing stuff, but goofing off, too). Of course, when Jan hits and I see the 'open' days getting closer it's a different story altogether!
We did stay open one extra day last year for a biz guest, but I added it on to the end of the vacation and he was the first guest back in Feb.
.
Morticia said:
Joey Bloggs said:
Our first few years we had business guests in the "off season" but now they are fewer and fewer, teleconferencing instead. Every year It hink about this, then say "whatever just leave it open and if we get many we can deal with it then"
So here's my deal with 'deal with it then'...you are always on edge- will someone call, won't they call, damn they called. With the calendar blocked you relax. If they call you can turn them down because in your head you are closed. If they don't call, you weren't expecting them anyway. When we hit December and I'm looking at my avail calendar (which shows 'blocked' days in red) and I see that red bunch of days getting closer, I relax, I get excited about 'my vacation' (which is spent fixing stuff, but goofing off, too). Of course, when Jan hits and I see the 'open' days getting closer it's a different story altogether!
We did stay open one extra day last year for a biz guest, but I added it on to the end of the vacation and he was the first guest back in Feb.
AGREED! It is the "on vacation already" thing. It is a mental health issue. So vs waiting for rooms to book you are free...to relax and work at home. Or, if it is mother murphy's law, the moment you block the avail off you have a 4 room booking or something. :) Thanks!
 

Morticia

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Our first few years we had business guests in the "off season" but now they are fewer and fewer, teleconferencing instead. Every year It hink about this, then say "whatever just leave it open and if we get many we can deal with it then".
Joey Bloggs said:
Our first few years we had business guests in the "off season" but now they are fewer and fewer, teleconferencing instead. Every year It hink about this, then say "whatever just leave it open and if we get many we can deal with it then"
So here's my deal with 'deal with it then'...you are always on edge- will someone call, won't they call, damn they called. With the calendar blocked you relax. If they call you can turn them down because in your head you are closed. If they don't call, you weren't expecting them anyway. When we hit December and I'm looking at my avail calendar (which shows 'blocked' days in red) and I see that red bunch of days getting closer, I relax, I get excited about 'my vacation' (which is spent fixing stuff, but goofing off, too). Of course, when Jan hits and I see the 'open' days getting closer it's a different story altogether!
We did stay open one extra day last year for a biz guest, but I added it on to the end of the vacation and he was the first guest back in Feb.
.
Morticia said:
Joey Bloggs said:
Our first few years we had business guests in the "off season" but now they are fewer and fewer, teleconferencing instead. Every year It hink about this, then say "whatever just leave it open and if we get many we can deal with it then"
So here's my deal with 'deal with it then'...you are always on edge- will someone call, won't they call, damn they called. With the calendar blocked you relax. If they call you can turn them down because in your head you are closed. If they don't call, you weren't expecting them anyway. When we hit December and I'm looking at my avail calendar (which shows 'blocked' days in red) and I see that red bunch of days getting closer, I relax, I get excited about 'my vacation' (which is spent fixing stuff, but goofing off, too). Of course, when Jan hits and I see the 'open' days getting closer it's a different story altogether!
We did stay open one extra day last year for a biz guest, but I added it on to the end of the vacation and he was the first guest back in Feb.
AGREED! It is the "on vacation already" thing. It is a mental health issue. So vs waiting for rooms to book you are free...to relax and work at home. Or, if it is mother murphy's law, the moment you block the avail off you have a 4 room booking or something. :) Thanks!
.
The first year we blocked Jan was when we had the callers who were sarcastic about us taking 'so much' time off. Of course it bothered us at that time. Back then we thought our entire lives revolved around guests. Then we wised up and realized we needed complete down time not just 'no one is in the house' time.
Yes, it's tough when that 4-nighter comes in, but it's harder to look at the empty days and realize there's no money coming in. When the days are blocked, I have already 'blocked' the money as well. Our last year of being open in Jan didn't even cover the fuel bill for the month.
I have also convinced myself that anyone who calls wouldn't like our prices anyway. Why I ever thought the ones who call when we're 'off' would accept our prices any more than those who don't when we're 'on' I don't know! We do get callers, tho, who tell us they tried to book online but it looks like the calendar isn't working right. 'All the dates are full.'
Of course that can't be right, can it?
 

Breakfast Diva

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This year we're closing the first week of December. I just booked our trip to an all-inclusive resort south of Cancun! I can't wait to have someone take care of us for a change.
 
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